This pottery vessel in the Cairo Museum reminds me of that Naqada I period bowl lined with hippopotami from the Manchester Museum that I shared a photo of recently, and of the iconic Naqada II period female figurine in the Brooklyn Museum.

Sadly I don’t know anything more about this piece, I’m not sure if there was a label for it in the museum in 2016 (I didn’t find it to photograph it if there was). I would guess it is likely to be roughly contemporary with the pieces it reminds me of, so around 6000 years old.

If anyone has more information on the piece, an accession number or anything else about it, please let me know!

Edit: Isabel Plumed García has given me more information. It was found by the excavations of DAI (German Archaeological Institute) at Abydos, led by the late Günter Dreyer. It was found in grave U-502 at the Umm el-Qaab cemetery and dates to the late Naqada I period.

This grave was badly damaged, but the excavators could tell that it originally belonged to a premature baby of about 6-8 months gestation.

There are traces of black bitumen wigs on the heads. The white and red paint was added some time after the item was originally manufactured.

The above information is taken from a publication by G. Dreyer in Antike Welt 1996/3 p.242.

Thanks to Isabel for the photo of the relevant book page, and the information.

And @Egypt_Stories on Twitter has given me the last piece of the puzzle – the accession number is: JE 99583.

Pottery Vessel Decorated with a Ring of People

See it on my photo site:
and another image of the same piece here:

See the hippopotamus bowl:
See the female figurine:

Jigsaw puzzles:

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